NOTTINGHAM, England, June 3 (Reuters) - Pakistan put their woeful start to the World Cup behind them on Monday, racking up a hefty 348 for eight wickets at Trent Bridge after being put in to bat by hosts and tournament favourites England.
Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 84 off 62 balls including eight fours and two sixes, while Babar Azam made 63 and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed belted a quickfire 55.
England banked on the pace of Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer for early wickets, no doubt hoping to recreate the way the West Indies skittled Pakistan out for 105 on Friday.
Instead, opening batsmen Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq delighted their vocal supporters by belting a string of fours and one six in an opening partnership of 82.
England spinner Moeen Ali finally broke the pair up, claiming the wicket of Fakhar (36) when he miscalculated the spin and was stumped by keeper Jos Buttler.
Woakes took a diving catch at extra cover to dismiss Imam-ul-Haq (44) six overs later, giving Moeen his second wicket of the morning and leaving Pakistan on 111-2.
Babar and Mohammad Hafeez then steadied the ship for Pakistan with a partnership of 88 runs - partly helped by England’s Jason Roy dropping a relatively easy catch off Hafeez when on 14 at mid-off. The home side, indeed, were uncharacteristically ragged in the field for most of the innings.
Moeen and Woakes combined again for the next wicket, when Babar mistimed and lofted the ball towards mid-on where Woakes dived forwards to scoop up the catch.
Hafeez was eventually caught, hitting the ball low towards mid-off where Woakes gleefully snatched his third catch of the day.
Woakes matched his performance in the field with three late wickets, leaving England with a challenging, record-setting target. The best successful World Cup run chase to date came in 2011 when Ireland made 329 against England.
Reporting by Hugh Lawson; editing by Tony Lawrence